Summary: The lost are important to God
Lost but not Least
Suppose for a moment that you were at a bus stop, and a friend came by and gave you a small bag
and said, "I no longer need this, it’s yours." You take the bag and get on the bus. When you get
off at your next stop, as the bus pulls away you, realize that you left that bag on the bus. You
wave at the bus, but its too late.
You go on about your business the rest of the day, barely thinking off what was in that bag. A
couple of years later, you run into your friend. Your friend asks you, "so what did you do with the
diamond ring I gave you." You say, "you’re kidding. What diamond ring are you talking about?"
The ring in the bag I gave you 2 years ago was a $10,000 ring. What did you do with it?
All of sudden you realize that you have lost something very valuable, and there is no way to
recover it now. If you had of known then, what you know now, you would have tried much
harder to find it. Instead of waving at the bus, you would have ran after the bus. If you didn’t
catch it, you’d try to flag down a ride to catch up with the bus.
You’d be calling bus company to see if they could get in contact with the driver enroute and have
him check for the bag. You might have even offered a reward to anyone finding the bag and
turning it in. But no, when you had the opportunity to recover it, you let it slide because you
didn’t know that something valuable had been lost.
If something is lost who will go looking for it? If I said, "I lost a quarter in the grass out on the
lawn today", I guarantee you that some of the kids will be out there trying to find that quarter." If
I said, "I lost a rolled up hundred dollar bill out in the grass and whoever finds it can have it, some
of you may not be here for the end of this sermon, because you will feel a ‘leading of the Holy
Spirit’ to go and find that $100 bill." The value we place on the thing which was lost, will
determine who is willing to go looking for it and how much time and effort will be put into that
Now I’m not going to trick you by asking you again if you own your home because you know
that the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, and all who live in it. God has a claim on
everybody’s life, because they belong to Him.
It does not matter how old we are, smart we are, color we are, bad we are, tough we are, cool we
are, sick we are, messed up we are or anything else. We are property belonging to God. Every
cow, cat, aardvark, whale, hawk, and all other animals belong to God. Every piece of gold, silver,
diamond, and any other kind of wealth belongs to God. Every building belongs to God.
Everybody that you see belongs to God. But of all the things God owns in the earth, only one
group of items is described by God as being lost.
In our passage today, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees and scribes. He tells his critics two stories.
One about a shepherd who lost one of a 100 sheep and one about a woman who lost one of ten
coins. The shepherd didn’t say, "Oh well, 99 out of a 100 is a pretty good average to me. No, the
shepherd left the 99 and diligently searched for the one.
The lady who lost the coin, didn’t say, "I can make it by on the other nine." No she tore the house
up cleaning in every nook and cranny until she found it. These stories teach us 3 things.
The first thing that these parables teach us is: God is interested in the least. Of course, in
God’s eyes there are no “least.” Every person is valuable. Who in our eyes do we see as
the least, the people, not necessarily lost, but looked down upon? Families with kids in
trouble with the law, divorced people, alcoholics, the homeless, tax collectors, garbage
collectors, abusive people, the person whose home needs painting? The list could go on &
on but you get the idea. Even if they have tattoos and body piercing, even if they talk
different, even if they wear dirty clothes, even if they have no money, even if they have
poor grammar and no education, they are valuable to God. It is important to understand
that the lost sheep was not more valuable nor was it less valuable than the ones which